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How To Define And Reach The Target Audience For Survey

Fasna Savad

25 April 2024

5 min read

“Spent hours on creating a market research survey, yet the completion rate is null.”

Ever wondered why this happens?

Most Importantly, did you try to crack the code to get those high numbers?

Well, worry not! We have cracked that secret code and explained it in simple terms, just for you!

So how do you find the survey’s target audience and rake in those high response rates? Keep on reading:

How To Perform a Targeted Survey

Finding the right audience is the key to conducting an effective survey. Below, we show you how to identify the right kind of audience that would give you accurate insights.

 Types Of Target Audience

The first step to finding the right audience for your survey is to identify what type of targeting would help you the most.

1. Target Audience Based On Demography

Demographics include certain socioeconomic factors that help you vividly identify the customer. These factors can be the person’s age, educational qualification, current geographic location, annual income, etc.

But why does this matter?

Suppose you are planning to release a new Ayurvedic variant in your shampoo line. You want to know the price point that would be affordable for your potential audience.

Suppose your potential customers are females aged between 20 and 30 years, living in a particular area. In that case, you can roll out the surveys to them alone and see the response rates scaling high.

2. Target Audience Based On Purchase Intentions

Remember when you went looking for a specific cream and ended up seeing many ads for the same the rest of the week? Well, that’s targeting based on purchase intentions at work.

Usually, the users are grouped into small clusters based on the products they have shown interest in a certain period. When you have this data, you can easily roll out the necessary surveys to the target audience and extract their opinion.

But here’s the tricky part. The need for the product may die out soon, so you will have to act upon it within a particular time frame quickly.

3. Target Audience Based On Their Interests

Personal interests constitute of individual’s passion, interests, and hobbies. This can be identified from what they are looking for and reading about online.

Once the target audience is grouped based on this data, you can easily send out market research surveys to know the product’s scope and the potential customer’s pulse.

The Number Of People To Survey

Now that you know which type of targeting would work for your surveys, it’s time to think about the number of participants required.

Consider the previous example, there might be more than 40 million females between 20 and 30 years of age who like to try on ayurvedic shampoos, but it’s next to impossible to survey them all.

In this case, you can choose a sample size that most accurately represents the opinions of those 40 million individuals in that particular demographic.

For example, the sample size of 40 million females between 20 to 30 years, with a margin of error of +/- 4%, will be 600. The more people you send to, the margin of error is reduced proportionally.

Note: We have considered the confidence level to be 95%.

Now that you have the number of people to be surveyed, you can choose the targeting method to roll out the survey.

Asking the proper screening question

Another way is to roll out the screening question at the beginning of the survey. Only the people who pass your demographic criteria make it to the end of the quiz. Therefore, the survey results will be helpful for further research.

The screening question is to be asked at the beginning of the survey to ensure that you survey the right people.

That is since you are interested only in knowing the opinion of females aged 20 to 30, specifically interested in ayurvedic shampoo, the screening question can be framed like this:

What kind of shampoo do you like to use:

  • Ayurvedic or organic shampoos
  • Non-organic, chemical-based

The ones who opt for Ayurvedic shampoo are your target audience, provided they are above 20 and below 30.

With that said, you can include multiple screening options to ensure that the audience is the perfect fit for your survey.

For example:

How often do you use a shampoo?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Twice a week
  • Once in a month
  • Once in a year
  • Never

The ones who have ticked the once in a year and never option may not be the ideal fit for your survey. So you can simply bypass the rest of the questions that are intended for the target audience.

What is the Incidence rate?

The incidence rate is the number of people who qualified after attending your screening questions.

It would be impossible to predict the incident rate of your survey. Therefore, you will have to roll out a sample survey to the maximum number of participants possible; in this case, the female population between 20 and 30 is present in a specific geographical location.

The number of people who answer this standard survey is your target audience. They are genuinely interested in your services, and so, in the future, you can send them a well-detailed survey that inquires about their expectations about the product.

Another way to get a slight idea of the incidence rate is to search online for a similar research topic. This will give you a vague idea of how many people actually responded and how many of them were truly useful.

Bonus Tip: Go for an Audience Panel

Well, if none of the above tricks works in favor of you, then it’s safe to go for an audience panel. The research or audience panel comprises individuals who have agreed to take surveys. You will have to approach a company that has a well-reputed research panel for the purpose.

Based on your targeting needs, be they demographics or interests, the company will help you scrutinize the ideal candidates.

The main advantage of going for an audience panel is that you get to-the-point answers for your surveys, and all these would be useful for your research. There won’t be any spam content or vague answers.

Further, the response rates will be pretty high, and you won’t have to run the survey for weeks.

The only drawback to the research panel is that you get the response of a certain part of the population who agreed to take up the surveys. You will be in the dark about the interests and expectations of the left-out population.

Bonus Tip 2: Choose a Trusted Partner

For instance, if you opt for SurveySparrow’s online panel, you will get validation from a custom-profiled audience that spans across 149 countries. This will help you get refined data and make informed decisions.

Plus, the key to understanding your audience is engaging conversations! It can do wonders and the platform lets you do just that effortlessly with its user-friendly interface.

If you wish to create surveys, share them via multiple channels, collect valuable data, and visualize and analyze them for informed decisions, you can perhaps give SurveySparrow a try!

Wrapping Up…

Voila, you have a detailed guide to finding the right target audience for the survey right in front of you. Be it the audience panel method or the conventional research method, both yield valuable results. The traditional targeting and research method requires patience, time, and a lot of labor. In comparison, all these things are reduced in the case of the research panel.

So no more low responses for your surveys! And Oh yeah, don’t forget to make your surveys engaging.

If the survey engages with your participants, the completion rates skyrocket!

Fasna Savad

Full-time introvert with a dash of spontaneity and at times, A writer!


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